Author Chat w/Janae Mitchell discussion

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message 1: by Janae, Moderator (new)

Janae Mitchell (janaemitchell) | 13 comments Mod
If you are wanting to be an author, then be one. Don't let anyone, even yourself, tell you that you can't. If I (Hillbilly Hairstylist from Tennessee) can do it, anyone can... as long as you can tell a story.
Even if your grammar isn't the best, or you don't understand when to use affect instead of effect, as long as you are creative and can tell a story, the editor can fix everything else. Some may disagree, but this is how I feel. The best technical writer can write and publish a book, but if the story isn't there, who will want to read it?
The most important manuscript you will ever write will, in my opinion, be your first. This is the one that will get your foot in the door to the publishing world, as well as your intro to readers, so make sure it's clean and practically perfect before submitting to agencies/publishers. You won't be given a second chance to make a first impression, so make it count.

message 2: by Janae, Moderator (new)

Janae Mitchell (janaemitchell) | 13 comments Mod
I've had a lot of people ask why they can't walk in BAM or B&N and get my books, since it's quicker for them to do than ordering them online and having to wait. Well....
When I had my first series accepted by my publisher, I was ecstatic, to say the least. I had visions of my book(s) being in bookstores, on the shelves with other authors' babies, being cuddled by potential readers. However, that's not how it is. Unless you are published by a fairly large publisher, which I'm not, stores like Books-A-Million and Barnes & Noble won't even give your book a second look when it comes to what they put on their shelves. They'll sell your book online, of course, but it's 'not good enough' to sell in their actual stores. Reason being— Createspace. Createspace is the company that indie authors and many small publishing companies use to print their books and is owned by Amazon, who happens to be their biggest competitor. So most, if not all, books printed by Createspace will not be in the big-name book stores. Is it fair? No. But I look at it like this. Those big-name bookstores are the ones missing out. I still sell books and do pretty well as a new author despite them. Would it be easier if I could send people to my local BAM store to get a signed copy? Sure, but I've found ways to work around that. It causes a little more leg work for me, but pays off in the end. (I have signed copies available on my website.)
If you are looking to have your manuscript accepted, this is something you might want to ask potential publishers— "Who prints your books?". If they use Createspace, it's almost like they are self-publishing your book for you; or at least that is how you will be treated. Don't get me wrong, having a publisher has MANY perks, especially for new authors, including upfront costs because they believe in your work and don't mind investing in you, as well as helping to get your name out there. As a new author, it's also great having someone there for you who's got your back, since it's all new, doing all of the semi-confusing publishing stuff for you. But once you're an established author with a reader following, you may want to ask yourself if it's worth it in the long run. Some very successful authors have self-published and still do.
I self published "Haunted", which was fairly easy. Amazon actually has a step-by-step book on how to do it that's free to download. I didn't pay someone to do the cover or editing, since it's just a stand-alone novella, but it's still done very well and I'm proud of it. And if I can do it, anyone can!

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